The new Rhodes Abbeyfield house in Wigram, Christchurch was officially opened on March 16. The 14-studio house was jointly developed by Abbeyfield and the Rhodes Trust and is the 14th Abbeyfield house to be developed in New Zealand.
Abbeyfield New Zealand board chairman Simon Hayes said the opening was the culmination of a vision by the Rhodes Trust to rebuild after the Christchurch earthquakes nearly a decade ago, and he hoped the initiative shown by the trust to partner with Abbeyfield would be an inspiration to other organisations.
Rhodes Trust chairperson Glenyss Whitnall, pictured above cutting the ribbon, said the trust looked forward to having a close relationship with Abbeyfield moving forward.
The Rhodes Trust was established to perpetuate the memory of Robert Heaton Rhodes through the founding of a convalescent home in Christchurch in 1887. The trust provided accommodation for older persons in Christchurch for well over a century on the Cashmere Hill. Following dislocation caused by the Christchurch earthquakes the trust began to investigate the best way to progress their mission into the future.
“Of all the options the Rhodes Trust explored, the Abbeyfield model of affordable supported housing for older people best matched our aims and vision,” Glenyss Whitnall said.
The house is in Erling Ziesler Lane. It is the second Abbeyfield house to be developed in Christchurch; a 12-resident house opened in Hornby in 2015.